Saturday, March 16, 2013

Final Post

Hello, Friends:

You probably saw this coming, but today it becomes official.  In light of the fact that I have chosen to move on from this position as Superintendent of Education for the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists effective July 1, 2013, I have chosen to end my blogging sooner than later.  The truth is that the pace has picked up since I made the decision to return to California.  Perhpas that is due to my desire to finish strong and not to end with a whimper.

I appreciate the fact that you took the time to read the blog.  I am sure there were times you wondered why, but you did.  I even appreciate those who took the time to react to my thoughts.  I have found other outlets for my writing.  my personal email remains the same (  You are always welcomed.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Process Continues

It’s Thursday night and I’m almost out of week with much more to accomplish before the sun sets tomorrow.  The last week took me to Ontario, California (again!) for K-12 Curriculum Committee.  These are all becoming the “last” of their kind for me in my present position.  It’s a bit strange, but what can you do?

This coming week will take me to Northridge, California for a WASC accreditation visit at San Fernando Valley Academy.  I am chairing the committee.  I should have said “no,” but I have this thing about saying yes to people asking for help.  I am reading the book “Boundaries,” by Cloud and Townsend.  Perhaps that will help me get better at that in the future.

 The personnel process continues.  Still some fluidity, but it seems to be taking shape in the elementary schools.  There will be minimal movement, but it will include another step in improving the whole.  It has not been easy, but progress is rarely without some opposition or misunderstanding.  You just have to be as fair as possible and be true to what you are impressed is the right road to take.  TAA is almost finished in its personnel search as well.  A couple of additions are still in the works.  Good night! (228)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Long Week Ended

Today is Friday.  Sabbath is but a couple hours away.   I need rest.  It has been a hectic month with demands inside and outside the confines of the Arizona Conference.

This week is the first week all month that I have been able to be physically in the office for the entire week, yet even that is a relative term with my visits to the schools across the state.  Education Day/Superintendents’ Council/Educational Leadership Committee at Angwin, California led off the month.  That was followed by the One Project gathering in Chicago—a wonderful experience with time to dream and think outside the box without losing sight of the Prize, which is Jesus.  I was here this week, but after tomorrow I will be gone for the lion’s share of the next two weeks at K-12 Curriculum Committee in Ontario, California followed by a WASC accreditation Visiting Committee, which I am chairing, at San Fernando Valley Academy, in Northridge, California.

In the midst of that there were multiple school boards and personnel committees.  There were church boards and preaching opportunities. And of course there were TCE demands and Director of Family Ministries commitments.  Believe it or not, I am still married, which is a 24/7 experience….  One would think I have just had a genuine “pity party”, but I’m not.  I loved every minute of it, but it has stretched me close to the limit.  At least I am not bored as the days move towards my ultimate departure from the Arizona Conference.

Personnel time is always a time to adjust and transition.  It is not always easy, but it is necessary.  Such is the case in the Arizona Conference.  There are people leaving, transitioning, scaling back, considering options, moving, and remaining.   What the conference will look like when the proverbial dust settles is not visible as of today.  We will press on.

 I am preaching at AWC tomorrow.  I am looking forward to it.  My sermon title is “God is Up to No Good!”  It is based on the story and peculiar prayer of Jonah.  I am looking forward to it.  I need rest before I begin.  This week has taken a lot out of me.  I have had some tough conversations in various settings.  God knows why he brought me here.  I will remain at my post until he calls me away. (225)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Late Saturday Lines

It’s early Sunday morning—Super Bowl Sunday.  I will most likely miss the game since I will be traveling later this afternoon to Oakland, California in route to PUC for Education Days.  Penny will be traveling with me, so that will make the trip more pleasant.

It was a great Sabbath day at AWC.  I will miss the people there when I’m gone.  They really are a nice bunch of people who generally like being with each other.  Services are pretty informal and laid back, but the substance is solid.  Pastor B preached today as part of a Prayer Sermon Series.  He spoke on the power and need of intercessory prayer in the context of the great controversy taking place between God and Satan.  The message was powerful and his delivery was passionate, as usual.

Penny and I enjoyed a simple lunch together and then rested all afternoon.  We took a walk in the evening after going on an errand to Wal-Mart.  We had a great talk during our walk and enjoyed a relaxing evening.  These days are rare, but precious.  Good night! (220)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Visitation Day Aftermath

It’s a quiet evening at the Escalante’s.  Praise God for Sabbath!  It was hectic week culminating in a hectic Friday.  TCE celebrated Visitation Day.  The school was all gussied up for company.  It was a great day for most all.

There was learning taking place, but it was a colorful, exciting, creative, and energetic sort of learning.  There were games and experiments.  There were interesting classroom experiences.  There were lots of new little people on campus.  There were many prizes given.  There was even an acrobatic performance by the TAA Arco Team in which many children were able to participate.  Oh, yes, there was a short devotional thought at the end of the festivities as well.

But as all amazing days tend to require an amazing outlay of work and energy, today was no exception.  A few late nights followed by early mornings finally decided to cash in on Friday afternoon.  Penny and I both crashed early (I woke up in the late evening to write this entry).  It was nice to have a time of refreshing.

No preaching or teaching tomorrow.  No responsibility…well maybe that’s pushing it a bit.  But it is still a day when I will be able to enjoy the experience without directly being responsible for putting it together.  Of course that may all change tomorrow, but I can enjoy the illusion while it lasts.

The personnel process has begun in earnest across the conference.  It is always a bit of an unnerving time for all involved.  A lot of prayer is going up these days as decisions are being made that will impact people’s lives and livelihood.  Some personnel sessions are short and easy, while others can extend over days.  Both require God’s leading.  Both require that the focus be on the children God entrusted to us.

At least I can set it aside for a few hours.  (I guess I didn’t really, since I just blogged about it!  Oh, well.)  Pray for the process and for the people involved and affected by the choices yet to be made. 

Oh yes, please pray for a couple of our teachers, Steve and Joan, who are facing serious family health challenges that will require divine intervention if favorable outcomes are to be expected.  They need our prayers—we need to press together when any of us is hurting. Steve’s sister and Joan’s mom are facing major crises, but Joan and Steve need our prayers as well. (224)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Transition TIme

I am in SOuthern California today for a major reunion at the La Sierra Spanish SDA Church in Riverside, California.  Of course, that means I get to see my family in Riverside.  Just a coincidence, of course!      

By now, you may have heard that I have officially announced my intent to return to California at that end of the present school year.  It has been a gut-wrenching decision on many levels.  A big part of me does not want to leave a job that I have just begun.  There is so much to yet to do.  AAF is just beginning to establish itself at Thunderbird.  The transition has not been one without some serious adjustments.  I believe God brought me here to be part of that transition.  It saddens me to think that I may be leaving before my role in this incredible journey is completed.

The elementary educational system is still in a state of transition as well.  Although enrollment has been up every year since I arrived, there is little comfort in that.  There are changes that need to take place that require more time.  It can’t be done in three short years.  Some changes are in place.  Some are about to take place.  Others require more time.  I am saddened that I will not be able to see those changes through.  I trust God will find the person to continue the move towards continual improvement.

Ultimately, this is a family-based decision.  Penny and I miss the family.  I have resisted conference-office work for many years because of family.  I thought that it might be a workable scenario now that that my children are all independent and relatively established in their respective calling.  I responded to a need and I do not regret the decision.  I had to respond—it is how I raised my children.  It is what I taught my youth groups.

But I also raised my children to treasure family.  I have made most of my professional decisions with family in mind.  When I did not do that I lived to regret the impact it had on one or more members of my nuclear family circle.  I have missed so much of the lives of my children and grandchildren.  Little and big things—some people might even consider them insignificant.  But they are not.  They are moments forever lost.

My melancholy is tempered by the amount of work that remains in the months to come.  I ask for your collective prayers for the events, the tasks, and the decisions that have yet to be made.   God is still at work.  The best days of education in the Arizona Conference remain to be seen.  God will raise up who he needs.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

California Ramblings

We’re still in California.  It’s beautiful in California during this time of year.  The skies are clear and you can see forever in any direction.  The mountains are now-capped and candy clouds decorate the blue skies.  The weather is crisp but not frigid.  The best part of it is that Penny and I can enjoy the grandkids every evening without having to travel much.

We are catching up on the local tasks that have been neglected over time.  We spent a couple hours this morning at the Social Security Office trying to normalize the status of a developmentally disadvantaged lady. 

We have an evening planned in Orange County with Amanda and her husband.  We’re looking forward to that.  Later.